Recovering rent arrears
Recovering rent arrears

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Recovering rent arrears
  • Court proceedings
  • Using a rent deposit
  • Statutory demands
  • Interest on late payment of rent
  • Former tenants and their guarantors
  • Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery
  • Subtenants
  • Guarantors
  • Double rent or double value
  • more

This Practice Note provides brief details of the main methods of rent arrears recovery, and gives links to further information in each case.

Before taking any action to recover rent arrears, landlords must consider:

  1. whether to forfeit the lease for non-payment

  2. whether the tenant is in any form of insolvency and, if so, what implications this has for the methods of recovery available

  3. whether there are any limitation period issues. No action may be taken to recover rent arrears after the expiry of six years from the date on which the arrears became due

Forfeiture must be considered first as any demand for or acceptance of rent that fell due after the right to forfeit arose will waive the right to forfeit (for further information see Practice Note: Forfeiture of a lease).

Court proceedings

Prior to issuing proceedings, the landlord must consider whether the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (the Protocol) will apply. The Protocol applies where any business (including a sole trader and public body) is claiming payment of a debt from an individual (including a sole trader). It describes the conduct which the court will expect from the parties, prior to the start of proceedings, including the information to be set out in the initial letter of claim. Its aims are to encourage early communication and exchange of information to